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Sturges, Preston (1898-1959)


Preston Sturges was a Hollywood film director, producer, and screenwriter who co-established California Pictures Corporation with Howard Robard Hughes Jr. Born as Edmund Preston Biden in Chicago, Illinois, Sturges entered Broadway productions in the late 1920s and produced his first play, "The Guinea Pig," in 1928. During the 1930s, Sturges worked on films for studios including Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer (MGM). He won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Great McGinty (1940).

Sturges formed California Pictures with Hughes in 1944, serving as present and executive-producer while Hughes funded the corporation. The company produced only one feature film in its two years of activity: The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947), which was re-edited and re-released as Mad Wednesday (1950). Their partnership dissolved in October 1946 due to disagreements during the filming of Vendetta (1950). Mad Wednesday and Vendetta were both released through RKO Radio Pictures.

After California Pictures' dissolution, Sturges continued writing and directing Broadway musicals and films. He married four women in over his life: Estelle de Wolf Mudge, Elanor Close Hutton, Louise Sargent Tevis, and Anne Margaret "Sandy" Nagle. Sturges also had three children.

Sturges died on August 6, 1959 in New York, New York.


"Preston Sturges, Noted Movie Producer, Dies." Los Angeles Times (1923-1995). August 7, 1959. Accessed February 24, 2022.

"Preston Sturges." Find a Grave. July 18, 1998. Accessed February 24, 2022.